Leftist Syriza Party defeated after about half a decade in power.
Greek PM Alexei Tsipras and his socialist Syriza party have been defeated, bring a close to their roughly half a decade in power.
The Conservative New Democracy Party won just under 40% of the popular vote, compared to the 31.5% won by Syriza.
Since the Greek political system awards an extra 50 seats to the popular vote winner, New Democracy will be able to form an outright majority government.
New Democracy had been in power when the Greek debt crisis began, when it was revelaed that the budget deficit was dramatically higher than previously thought. That revelation caused a collapse in confidence that devastate the Greek economy, plunging the country into an economic depression and laying the groundwork for the rise of Syriza – who had previously been a far-left fringe party.
Syriza campaigned heavily against the austerity measures demanded by the European Union in return for bailout funds, but were forced by the continued economic collapse to eventually agree to Europe’s terms.
As a result, Syriza went from a popular opposition party to a governing party burdened by having to make difficult decisions, which led to a sapping in their support.
Many also had ongoing concerns with a leftist party holding power, leading the Conservative New Democracy back into power.
New Democracy’s success also came at the expensive of the far-right ‘Golden Dawn’ Party, who saw their support fall dramatically.
In his victory speech, incoming Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis said “The country proudly raises its head again.”
Photo – YouTube